Pruning Hydrangeas Before Spring Blooms - Don't Mess Them Up!

2 Materials
1 Hour

It's that time of year when all the gardening tools get to come out to play. And one of my favorite things to do in the garden is to trim back last year's dead growth. Today, I'm sharing how I prune mine for the best Spring blooms and how not to mess them up. I learned the hard way as usual.

Here in Texas, I start seeing new Spring growth around March on my hydrangeas. It may be a little later for you, depending on the zone you live in. But for me, it's the perfect time to be Spring pruning hydrangeas. In the past, I tried doing it in the Fall, and every time I did, it stunted the blooms. (insert unhappy face) You want to know why? The blooms are mainly in the new growth, but some varieties will also bloom on old-growth, but I have found that this works best. It can be a real guessing game. Do some research on your variety before trying this method.

Of course, I prune or deadhead old bloom throughout the blooming season, but today I'm strictly talking about Spring pruning.

For me, I wait until I see the new growth in the Spring, and because we had such a crazy cold winter, I waited extra long to make sure I didn't over prune. Many of my plants died this past winter, but so far, my hydrangeas are looking great.

Start with the dead stems that don't have new growth (easy to spot) and run your hand down the stem until you see the first bud or green growth. This is where you'll start pruning the hydrangea stems. Sometimes I leave a few dead stems in the middle to help support the new growth and snip off the tops.

Large blooms can really weigh down your bush, and this will give it some stability and help hold up those beautiful blooms.

Trim away the dead stems but make sure to look for any possible buds above where you cut.

Using this method ensures that the new growth is protected when pruning hydrangeas, and since I started doing this, my Spring blooms have resulted in large luscious blooms. As big as my head, if you can believe that.

Thanks for joining me today, and if you would like to see more of my DIYs, check me out of my blog. I promise not to bore you.

Do Dodson Designs Blog.

xo, Do

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Donna | Do Dodson Designs
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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3 of 5 questions
  • Lillyrose Lillyrose on Apr 26, 2021

    I have lived in this house for about 5 years. There was a Hydrangea here already, looks just like yours. It has not bloomed since I've been here. What do I do? I have another one that I bought 3 years ago and planted, it always has massive blooms, it is a different species as the leaves are different. I was supposed to be Pink, but has bloomed white always. What does it need?

  • Kathleen Kathleen on Apr 27, 2021

    I have several hydrangea bushes. They are beautiful colors in the fall. I always cut them and bring them in to dry. Any suggestions on how to keep blossoms on stems. Mine shed very easily. I've tried hair spray and clear varnish spray. Nothing seems to work, but I have seen them at craft fairs with no shedding. Thank you in advance for any help.

  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Apr 27, 2021

    mine never blooms any suggestions?


Join the conversation

3 of 6 comments
  • Patty Patty on Apr 30, 2021

    Thanks for your tips

  • Ann Ann on May 05, 2021

    I’m in Texas as well. My front door faces south. Which side of house is best for hydrangeas? Thanks!

    • Mine have done the best on the east side of my home. Morning sun and evening shade. But it also depends on the variety of Hydrangeas. Check the labels before purchasing.